D. is to be preferred? As my endeavours to find this out have failed, I hope that others may be more successful.
Throughout the foregoing I have assumed that is was the great Kalidasa, who found a patron in Bhoja, or as he is also called, (Jrï-Sahasanka. T. his has been denied or doubted, on the ground that the morals of Kalidasa, as drawn in the Bhojaprabandha are inconsistent with the purity and tenderness of the feelings in his works. But it has been remarked by Weber 1 that contrasts between theory and practice are not uncommon in every clime and at all times. One might even go farther, and contend that the character of Kalidasa, save one single blemish, is represented as amiable and generous. At all events Ballala-Migra intends to draw the portrait of the great Kalidasa, and that is the only point of importance for our purpose, not whether the portrait looks «respectable» or not, nor whether it is faithful or the reverse. As to the general trustworthiness of the Bhojaprabandha, I cannot look down on it so contemptuously as others do. The style issounequal, that is looks more like a patchwork than like the composition of one man. The framework in prose, and perhaps part of the metrical passages are from the hand of Ballala-Migra himself, but there are stanzas scattered over the whole of the work that would do credit to the best of Indian poets. The motley character of these stanzas enhances, in my opinion, the value of the work, because it scarcely can be explained but on the supposition that Ballala-Migra strung together sundry authentic verses of the wits at Bhoja's court, whether they had come down to him by tradition or in works now unknown. The work is moreover, for an Indian production, so remarkably free of extravagance, that on internal grounds few charges can be brought against it. I am far from asserting that no objections may be raised against it; I must myself point out that it appears strange that the author never mentions Varaha-mihira or Amara-simha; but on the other hand Sanskrit literature is so poor in historical works, that one ought not to despise any bit of information which is not manifestly wrong.
The Bhojaprabandha is silent about the well known so-called ninegems, of whom Kalidasa was one; we have to look elsewhere for the authority from which our knowledge of the nine gems is derived.
The tradition, if this be the word, about the nine gems has recently been assailed by F. E. Hall. 2 He points out that the stanza:
Dhanvantarih Ksapanako 'marasimha-£arikuVetalabhatta-Ghatakarpara-Kalidasah |
khyato Varahamihiro nrpateh sabhayam ratnani vai Vararucir nava Vikramasya ||
1 See Prefaoe to liis translation of the Malavikagnimitram.
2 Prefaoe to his edition of Wilson's translation of the Visnupurana, p. viii. noto.